Point Counter-Point

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The Wood County Commission Thursday stated it wants Mountwood Park's board to remove board president Charles Cline, and an evaluation of the tree removal that's going on at the park.

That, in a letter to board members, followed a Thursday morning meeting that most of the board boycotted, an ongoing investigation by county prosecutor Ginny Conley, and months of verbal exchanges which included the dismissal of the park's administrator.

Thursday, the board's attorney answered allegations that Mountwood Park is broke.

"I serve on a number of boards that would be delighted to have $180,000 in the bank," said attorney Michele Rusen, referring to the park's cash on hand at the end of March. "For anyone to say the park is not financially sound at this time is simply not so."

At a special meeting Thursday night, board member Jack Doerr even more pointedly responded to discussion of the investigation prosecutor Ginny Conley has been conducting into the park's timbering practices.

"I wish someone would drag my ass into court and charge me with something rather than innuendo," Doerr said. "I wish to hell they either end that damn investigation, and not act like Nazi Germany in 1933."

Some years ago, the park board began a plan of replacing the park's older trees with new timber. The problem, and the apparent reason for the investigation, is in how the old timber was sold.

"Somebody decided to break the rules and cut all of them down," Doerr said after the meeting, "which was not the way we intended it."

The board agreed to begin work on seeking a new forester. It also agreed to hire former park director Richard Bailey, to help determine the costs of a detailed audit of the park's finances.

In its letter to the board, the county commission also would like to see discussion begin on a consolidated board, which would include all of the county's present and future parks.